Running on fumes

It’s Easter Sunday. Instead of hiding and finding Easter eggs with our girls, I’m sitting in the car in the gym parking lot and hiding from the world. I need a timeout. I don’t have anything left to give. I’m tapped out. I need to be alone.
This happens to me sometimes. I am an introvert. Socialising or spending any lengthy amount of time with people (even my own kids) without getting time by myself exhausts me. It physically, mentally and emotionally drains me to the point where I just break. Something gives way without warning and I find myself standing at the kitchen sink, that never seems to stay empty, silently bawling my eyes out.
How does this keep happening????
I woke up this morning, just like every morning, too early and to the sound of ‘mummum?’. My youngest hasn’t been feeling too good for the past few days so she hasn’t been sleeping well. This means I havn’t been sleeping well either. She has a terrible cough that keeps waking her and somehow she knows when I leave the bed even if she’s in a deep sleep. So I have been pretty much bed bound from the moment she goes to bed at 7pm, with her sleeping on me most of the time. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue but the girls have been sick on and off (passing the illness between them like a germy tennis match) since Jan. If you have kids, you know that this comes with a special type of clinginess. Which I understand, they need their Mum.

It’s been a busy few weeks. For some reason, my calendar has been quite full with a lot of socialising which is actually not the norm for me. I try to limit my social interaction to WhatsApp and social media as much as possible. It’s where I’m most comfortable and I don’t have to change out of my pjs to hang out. I think the combination of needy family and busy social life has taken its toll. It’s exhausting me which is making me unhappy and angry.
I’m getting angry about really dumb stuff. This morning I saw that the packet of Easter Eggs that I took out last night for us to hide this morning had been left on the floor in the lounge. I just could not understand why my husband wouldn’t put it out of sight or at least on the table. Yes, he’s busy working at night but surely that doesn’t make it ok for the girls to find the eggs that the ‘Easter Bunny’ is supposed to be hiding for them?
Ugh. I’m just tired. I’m tired of being the one who has to wake up first every day and make breakfast and lunch for school. I’m tired of being the one who always has to know what time the kids need to eat or make sure that there is something ready at mealtime. I’m tired of constantly cleaning up. Even though I know I’m fighting a losing battle, I need our place to be as clutter free as possible for me to function. When our home gets too messy I feel frazzled. Clean house, clean mind. I’m tired of feeling guilty for wanting time to work on the blog. The only time I have is when the kids go to sleep but thats the only time my husband gets to talk to me without being interrupted a million times so he naturally wants to maximize his quality time with me. I’m tired of being the favorite parent. As much as I know the girls love and adore their dad, I’m the one they go to when they want something even if he is sitting right next to them. I’m the one they want to be carried by. I’m the one they want to sit on when watching tv. I’m the one they want to be fed by. I’m the one who needs to get the umpteenth bottle or glass of water. And it’s not for lack of trying on my husbands part. He is the most hands-on parent I know and he carries just as much of the parenting load as I do when he’s at home. Kids just have a go-to parent and in our case, that’s me.
I need to plan my time better I think. I used to have Mums Day Out every Saturday from about 9-2 to recharge my batteries for the week. Being a stay at home parent pretty much means you live at work so getting away for a bit is a tiny slice of heaven. Recently I’v been using my Saturday’s to do social stuff for the blog or stuff with the kids. It’s burning me out. I am very much the energy source of our family. When I’m happy, everyone is happy. When I’m grumpy, EVERYONE is grumpy. The girls feed off my energy and my poor husband bears the brunt of the negative stuff.
I think I need to start alternating me having time out of the house, with having time alone at home. Even if it means hiding out in the granny cottage and doing some craft stuff for a while. As much as I love getting time to go out, I usually end up using it for personal admin and it’s a pain in the ass to come home to a messy house and then question whether those few hours were worth it (it’s usually not). Two hours alone at home is worth four out in my opinion.
But for now, I’m going to head into gym and listen to the Black Panther soundtrack as I exercise. Some loud music and endorphins will hopefully help me hit the reset button so that I can go home and be the fun parent my kids deserve today.

27 Comments

  • Melissa Javan (@melissa_nel)

    My mom used to say “a mother is the light of the house”. You made me think of this when you said “when I’m happy, everyone is happy; when I’m grumpy, everyone is grumpy.” I can so relate to this because I’m also an introvert.

  • sadelee

    I feel you. We have also just been go go go that i have forgotten what its like to spend the whole day in my pj’s. I need one of those days and soon! Go on you for still making it to the gym! #lekkerlinky

  • Chanene Ablett (@mschanaynay)

    I get this so much. I can relate and it is hard being the driver. Whilst I do enjoy going out I also need to be home to rejuvenate and find the happy medium of parenting and alone time. A beautiful thoughtful piece. hugs #lekkerlinky

  • millerinthecity

    Having time to yourself is so good especially when your kids are still small. It allows you to rediscover who you are as a person – you are not just a mom or a wife but you are more than that. When your kids are small they are needy but that can drain you so just taking time out will help. I like that you at least go off to the gym to have that space – so good on you #lekkerlinky

  • Mom Of Two Little Girls

    I love that term ‘the energy source of the family’, and it’s so true. I think most mums are. But I completely get you with the whole, stop touching me, give me my space, leave me alone for a couple of hours. I’m exactly the same. The good news is that it does get better as they get older. Hang in there. xx
    #lekkerlinky

  • Mammamia

    Best place to chill out will be “Mums place”. No cooking, no cleaning, sleep, read ,do whatever you like.
    A hotel with benefits. Recharge and relax.
    Although she may never forgive for not bringing the grandkids.

  • Rach @ Stories for Strength

    Ahhhhhh I’m hearing you on this one. Parenting is so hard. And being the go to parent just wears me the hell out. My hubby is always telling me to go out without the kids to have some time out but it’s not the same. I just want to curl up in my couch in a tidy space not filled with toys and relax there for hours on end without interruption. Total bliss. Overnight in a hotel room comes a close second!!! Lol

  • Spirited Mama

    oooh, we can start a whole new clan here… So I can definitely relate to feeling “trapped” at times. Self care and self love is SO important yet I struggle to find the time to JUST DO IT! This mama needs a time out too #LekkerLinky

  • High Heels & Fairy Tales

    I hope gym + the Black Panther tracks helped you feel at least a tiny bit better (the latter helps me feel awesome 😁)! Also, sending ALL the hugs and positive vibes… the girls being sick on and off for so long, added to everything else you do daily would exhaust anyone, so I think we all understand why you needed to run away from it all! xx

  • Cherralle

    I can identity with you. I am introverted And I get very overwhelmed. I ENFORCE my alone time. Whether it’s going to do my hair or whatever or going upstairs for an an hour or two to work on my blog or studies. My husband knows that. Take the time for you. I feel like this situation got worse with two kids – with one I had ample alone time and lived a FULL life. You are the heart of the home (I can tell) do you need to be looked after. And love the black panther sound track “all the stars”. Hope the kiddies get better soon. My two are now sick 😷

    • The Non-Adventures of a Stay at Home Mum

      Oh no! Poor girls!! Yes, the second child is a game changer in terms of free time. It’s a struggle to find that balance so I’m grateful to have a husband who gets me. And who understands when it’s easier for me to share on a public platform than talk face to face 😂🙈

  • desiraep

    Nadia, I think I hear an encore from many mums who feel this way very often. I love that you penned your thoughts. I remember feeling like that for a long while when my children were younger. Time alone for mum are a definite must have especially when you are a stay at home mum or in some cases when care-giving never ends Sending you a big hug and hoping to meet you over a great meal in a quiet and serene setting someday. Des

    • The Non-Adventures of a Stay at Home Mum

      Now, the day after, I feel a bit guilty for feeling the way I did. I have so much to be grateful for but I guess everyone has those days where they just can’t handle everything the way they usually do. And yes, we must definitely meet soon. You can give me some tips on juggling it all 😘

  • Claudette

    I love my time-outs and sometimes have to leave to get those….sigh. A busy weekend of constant socializing may be healthy and encouraging for my 10yo social butterfly but for me? Can’t do it.
    I hear you.

  • Mammamia

    I hear you Nads and so do all the mums out there. I don’t any one else can better identify with you. But I agree you need Your time out.I’m sorry that your Festive Weekend had to be so crazy.
    Just hang in there, kids do Grow Up.

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